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  1. #1
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    Question Building my dream top quilt and need advice

    Hello-

    I am building a perfect topquilt for winter camping from UGQ. I want the thing to be blizzard proof. I want to have to unzip my top cover because I am too hot. I have a zero rated bag from them already but it isnt warm enough for that single digit camping I want to do.

    Do I ...

    Do 950 power with all the overstuff you can buy? Or 800 with over stuff?? Frankly the fill power and overstuff is confusing to me. If 950 holds more heat pockets does it ruin the efficiency by overstuffing??

    Some help is appreciated!!

    -E

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cabmanhang's Avatar
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    As long as the baffles will support the loft, additional 950 should only add to the warmth value.
    "If we lose the forests, we lose our only instructors. People must see these forests and wilderness as the greatest educational system that we have on the planet. If we lose all the universities in the world, then we would lose nothing. But If we lose the forests, we lose everything." -- Bill Mollison

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Adding more down, no matter the fill power, will make the quilt warmer. It will also make it stuff larger and it will not drape as nicely.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
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    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    You should check out LocoLibre sub zero top quilts if you want the warmth.
    https://www.locolibregear.com/gear.h...=0&sort=normal

  5. #5
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of UGQ, but I agree with the suggestion to check out the sub zero quilts from Loco Libre. You can get a -40 if you want and if it's in your budget. The way George achieves those ratings is not through shoving more down into a 0 shell. He does it by having shells that allow up to 5.5" loft (for the -40 model). You can cram as much down as physically possible in a 0 quilt but it will still have basically the same 3.5" loft that the shell is constructed to provide.

    The biggest factor that determines the temp rating is the lofted height (thickness) of the quilt. This is determined by the design of the fabric shells and mesh baffles, and as long as there is enough down to fully loft it, adding more down beyond that won't do a great deal. Overstuff is more of an insurance policy to preserve the quilt's rating than it is a way of turning a 0 quilt into a -10 or -20. Factors that could reduce the loft include down migration and moisture accumulation on a multi day trip. Adding extra down will provide a greater buffer to help fight those adverse factors.

    The temp rating is determined by loft height, more of which puts a greater distance between your body temperature and the ambient temperature. If that quilt shell was only filled with air, but somehow still fully lofted, it wouldn't be very warm. That's because there would be natural convection currents within the quilt shell that would continuously move body heat away from the inner shell and give it up to the outside environment. What the down does is greatly reduce the ability for those convection currents to flow. The down lofts the quilt to its potential and creates millions of tiny pockets that basically trap heat by limiting the movement of air and therefore heat loss via convection within the quilt. By adding more down, you won't really increase the loft height, assuming the standard fill amount is enough to fully loft the quilt in the first place. The vendors here are generally known for being generous with the amount of down they use in their quilts, so I would suggest tempering your expectations on how much warmer you can make a 0 shell simply by adding the maximum overfill. If you want something rated below zero, better would be to go with a vendor who offers shells with greater loft height.

    As for fill power, a fully lofted quilt with 800FP will be just as warm as one with 950FP; it will just weigh more and not compress as much. The higher the number, the greater volume the uncompressed down will fill for a given weight. Higher FP lofts better and costs more, and a quilt with higher FP will weigh less and compress smaller than one with lower FP, but won't necessarily be any warmer.
    Last edited by cmc4free; 11-17-2019 at 19:42.

  6. #6
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    ^
    That said, if you were cold in a 0 rated quilt because of factors like spots with reduced loft due to down migration or the quilt taking on moisture after a few cold, damp days that didn't offer opportunities for the quilt to dry out between uses - then yes getting another 0 quilt with more overstuff might solve your problem and keep you warmer.

    However, if you camp in single digits and you're a cold-sleeper by nature, you might want to consider looking into a sub-zero rated Ghost Pepper from Loco Libre or a Scandinavian rated Diamondback from Warbonnet.

  7. #7
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    You have received good advice above!

    An additional thing to consider if you're going to be out for several nights consecutively in extreme cold is the build-up of moisture. Over time, humid vapor from our bodies migrates outward toward the quilt shell, and at very cold temperatures it freezes into the shell and then deeper and deeper into the insulation if there is no chance to dry out the quilt in a warm environment. I once had a -25F Western Mountaineering sleeping bag rendered practically useless due to this phenomenon after 3 or 4 nights of extreme cold.

    The solution is to never breathe into your quilt/sleeping bag and to wear some vapor barrier (VB) layers, such as Warmlite No-Sweat Shirt and Pants (and plastic grocery bags for VB socks) or some other non-breathable option, such as Lightheart Gear rain jacket and pants.

    I was going to provide a link to the very long thread on vapor barriers but I see it was you who started it!

    Lots of good info there.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

    Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. Leo Babauta

  8. #8
    Senior Member goobie's Avatar
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    What are the dimensions of your tarp?? The best insulation in the world does you no good if you're exposed to the wind.

  9. #9
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    Ahh thank you all so much for the good info. I looked into loco libre. I am considering that or a scandv from warbonnet. Also might contact ugq directly and see about a custom piece (I really like them and they did me a solid once that won my brand loyalty)

    I will make sure I have the loft height I need. Also considering best bang for buck with upcoming holiday sales.

    Also I probably should consider upgrading tarps as well. What is your fav all season tarp?

  10. #10
    cmc4free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emageddon View Post
    What is your fav all season tarp?
    My favorites in no particular order:

    Warbonnet Cloudburst - I have a stock 11' version with external poles.

    UGQ Winterdream - I have a custom 12' model with internal pole mods for the center and ends. I prefer the ends. Part of me wishes I had chosen a 13' XL model for my Ridgerunner.
    https://ugqoutdoor.com/tarps/xl-silpoly-tarps/

    HG Dyneema Palace - I have the 11' model.

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